Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th Oct 2009 21:45 UTC, submitted by JayDee
Hardware, Embedded Systems Just when you thought you saw it all. So, we all know about Psystar, the two lawsuits between them and Apple, and all the other stuff that's been regurgitated about ten million times on OSNews alone. Well, that little company has taken its business to the next level - by announcing an OEM licensing program.
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RE: What I would like...
by alcibiades on Tue 6th Oct 2009 09:38 UTC in reply to "What I would like..."
alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

Apple's problem is, Macs are simply PCs. There is no difference in hardware terms except that Apple has chosen to use EFI. The only difference between a Mac so called and a PC is where you bought it. A Mac is just a generic PC, but bought from Apple. Mostly they are a weird selection of standard components - a mixture usually of an insanely expensive processor coupled with mid range disk, memory and graphics cards. Well, the graphics cards are sometimes decidedly bargain basement.

Whatever, they may be configurations no sensible person would assemble if they had a choice, but they are configurations of standard PC parts, so they are just standard, if somewhat weird, PCs.

So their problem is that they have to find some way of marking the fact that the hardware has been bought from Apple, if they want to keep on with the prohibition. This is not down to Psystar, it is down to the way Apple chooses to conduct its business, and the evolution of the industry. Apple would have the exact same problem with or without Psystar. It is like blaming a particular mountain for a landslide, when the problem is, the villages are in an earthquake zone.

Apple is trying to implement its model by legal restraints, which seem likely to fail. Then it will have to fall back on technical ones. EFI worked for a while, but has now fallen, as it always was going to, being an open standard. What else is left? Product activation? Special codes? All of the above. But using them to restrict where a guy buys his PC is going to get real interesting. Its much easier to use this stuff to stop illegal copying. Using it to control the source of parts is a real challenge. In the end, the only thing you could hope to control is the main board. Are they really going to put a special chip on the otherwise standard main boards? And somehow stop that being defeated in about a week? It will any way turn into a public relations disaster. At some point the story stops being 'integration' and starts being 'Apple willfully crippling hardware'.

I think they will try, but basically, its over. It was over when they went to x86, not that there was any real choice in the matter. Its surprising that it has taken so long.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: What I would like...
by wirespot on Tue 6th Oct 2009 11:11 in reply to "RE: What I would like..."
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

It's not over by a long-shot.

How many people are willing to build their own machine? A very slim percentage, no matter how nice OS X is. And that's assuming that OS X was built to run on any hardware, which I seriously doubt. It may run, but it won't be the same experience as on the hardware it was meant for.

And since we're talking about it, I see many people saying "Macs are just like PCs, built from standard components". Good, then what's stopping other manufacturers from producing stuff that's just as good? And if they are, then why can't you use that stuff and covet a Mac at all?

Same goes for the software. People say "oh, Apple 'just took' *BSD and added some stuff". So anybody could just replicate what they did, can they? Then why don't they? And if they did, and Linux or *BSD are really that nice, why not use that?

Basically, people are deluding themselves big time. Apple created a very nice hardware combination and a very nice OS, but asks for too much money for it. So people are under the illusion that if they just take the OS and put it on hardware they built themselves they'll get the same experience for cheaper.

Yeah, good luck with that. Doing it in your shed as a hobby will stop being fun really fast. I build my own hardware and software (generic PC parts and Linux) and it takes a lot of passion and dedication (and side-benefits for my line of work) to stick to it. It's no picnik.

As for hoping that a big OEM will swoop in and deliver OS X to you on cheap hardware (a la Psystar) that really really unfair to Apple. What's stopping Psystar, or any OEM, from putting together an equally nice machine and building an equally nice OS? And why is it fair for them to destroy Apple's business by taking the OS that they made and undercutting them?

Are you people so closed minded that you'd welcome a scenario which would ultimately destroy the very thing you want? If OS X was "liberated" from Apple and mass-sold, Apple would go down, or stop developing OS X, or crippling it. OS X as we know it would be gone.

It comes down to this: Apple built something nice and it's entirely their merit. They are entitled to ask whatever they want for it. They are in no way a monopoly. You don't HAVE to use Macs or OS X. If you decide to do, you pay what they ask. If you don't, feel free to go somewhere else, there are many alternatives. Live with it.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: What I would like...
by jabbotts on Tue 6th Oct 2009 15:22 in reply to "RE[2]: What I would like..."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"
How many people are willing to build their own machine? A very slim percentage, no matter how nice OS X is.
"

I think the concern is people gaining the choice of buying osX from other retailers who are willing to build their own machine with osX on it.

"
And since we're talking about it, I see many people saying "Macs are just like PCs, built from standard components". Good, then what's stopping other manufacturers from producing stuff that's just as good? And if they are, then why can't you use that stuff and covet a Mac at all?
"

It's not about coveting Apple's hardware. It's about installing Apple's coveted software on better and/or more affordable hardware than they choose to sell it on. Other manufacturers are producing equal if not better hardware and consumers are asking for osX installed on that hardware instead of Apple's.

On the software side, many do choose BSD or other user liberating platforms but some people want osX and it really should be about consumer choice not company dictation.

"
people are under the illusion that if they just take the OS and put it on hardware they built themselves they'll get the same experience for cheaper.
"

No body is "just take[ing] the OS", it's sold on retail shelves, Apple still gets the profit margin it is sold at. No theft is taking place. Also, people are not under the illusion that they will get the same or better experience; they actually *are* getting the same or better experience by putting osX on hardware better than what Apple provides.

"
What's stopping Psystar, or any OEM, from putting together an equally nice machine and building an equally nice OS?
"

That's probably the reall interesting question right there. I'd personally like to see hardware companies focus on preinstalls of other OS outside of Windows and osX. I mean seriously make an effort not EeepC + Xandros kind of half-try. I'm biased though as I'd benefit from the hopefully resulting hardware vendor awareness leading to better hardware support for my own platform choices. Imagine the consumer benefits of a truly consumer driven healthy capitalist computer market. No more "oh, but our newest hardware only works with XYZ because we choose to ignore your second-class citizen platform."

Psystar devoting budget to sweet hardware packages and working with Connonical for solid *buntu installs would be a welcome site for many I suspect. I'd be happy with the hardware driver support being passed back to Debian as a side-benefit.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: What I would like...
by Budd on Tue 6th Oct 2009 11:30 in reply to "RE: What I would like..."
Budd Member since:
2005-07-08

And I absolutely agree with the fact that there's basically no Apple "machinery" . All of these are made by the same (if not cheaper) Chinese/Taiwanese/Malaysian manufacturers. The fact that Apple is selling the end product with a higher price is another story. It's the same thing as comparing a BMW 318 with Seat Leon. Both of them are outstanding cars only the Seat priced less than the Beemer.The way I see it for Apple is either :
- diversify their offer (including some really cheap setups)
- stop selling boxed OSX

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: What I would like...
by mrhasbean on Tue 6th Oct 2009 11:56 in reply to "RE: What I would like..."
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

Apple's problem is, Macs are simply PCs. There is no difference in hardware terms except that Apple has chosen to use EFI.


Simple question for you - do Pystar machines - or any Hackintosh (or generic PC) for that matter - support Target Disk Mode? (Anyone who doesn't understand the value of this feature alone has no clue about IT support)

Ok, make it two questions. Can a Pystar box (or generic PC) dynamically detect bootable devices connected to Firewire or USB ports or present in an optical drive, at startup, with a single keypress?

Alright, three. Point me at a supplier of standard components from which I can build a Mac Mini form factor system.

Standard components thrown together in a box < standard components in a system engineered for integration, style and ease of use...

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: What I would like...
by Kroc on Tue 6th Oct 2009 13:01 in reply to "RE[2]: What I would like..."
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Eaxctly. You can build a Mac, but you can’t build an Apple Mac.

Apple’s case designs and form-factors are simply better than the rest of the industry.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Those, my friend, are SOFTWARE features, provided by OpenFirmware (PowerPC) or EFI (Intel). OF and EFI are both not Apple technologies, and are in fact used by other companies too; OF, for instance, is on my Ultra 5, and provides the same features.

It has nothing to do with the hardware or integration. It's a simple case of using something else than a BIOS. The features you mention are part of the firmware, not the hardware.

EDIT: except the case tyhing, obviously.

Edited 2009-10-06 13:07 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: What I would like...
by kryogenix on Tue 6th Oct 2009 14:26 in reply to "RE[2]: What I would like..."
kryogenix Member since:
2008-01-06

Simple question for you - do Pystar machines - or any Hackintosh (or generic PC) for that matter - support Target Disk Mode? (Anyone who doesn't understand the value of this feature alone has no clue about IT support)


I'll give you that one. Firewire target disk mode is incredibly useful. As more PC's go EFI, you'll see something similar eventually as an EFI module that can be easily installed.

Ok, make it two questions. Can a Pystar box (or generic PC) dynamically detect bootable devices connected to Firewire or USB ports or present in an optical drive, at startup, with a single keypress?


Actually I know of quite a few PC's that can do this and while not as pretty, most will offer a menu of boot devices with a single keypress.

Alright, three. Point me at a supplier of standard components from which I can build a Mac Mini form factor system.


Ever heard of Mini-ITX? Been living under a rock? They have mini-ITX boards with just about any combination of goodies you can imagine with lots of CPU possibilities. VIA C3/C7, Intel Atom, Intel Core, Intel P4, etc.

Standard components thrown together in a box < standard components in a system engineered for integration, style and ease of use...


Don't get me wrong, I like my 2009 Macbook White, it has VERY well balanced hardware and is a great machine but I'm not delusional. It's a PC. It's a very nice PC w/ a mac keyboard and EFI but it's still a PC.

My Macbook WAS CHEAPER and PERFORMED BETTER than any other decent 13" PC laptop available at the time contrary to the belief that macs are expensive. In OSX and Windows at that.

There's nothing special about the HARDWARE that makes it magically easier to use, there's no magic Jobs pixie dust that makes the components integrate better. "Stylish" I'll give you but that's relative. In the end, my Macbook might be shiny but it scratches if I look at it crosseyed. A nice Lenovo wouldn't.

There's really only one special ingredient. MacOS X. That's it. They target it for their handful of hardware which cuts development costs and eases debugging compared to releasing it for use by the unwashed PC masses which makes for a pretty darn stable platform.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: What I would like...
by segedunum on Tue 6th Oct 2009 16:01 in reply to "RE[2]: What I would like..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I hate to break it to you, but a Macintosh is a standard EFI-based Intel machine.

Reply Parent Score: 3